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Taking Advantage

Dlr:
North
Vul:
None
North
♠ Q J 7
A 9 4 3
9 3 2
♣ 8 6 5
South
♠ A K 9 8 5
K 8
A Q
♣ K Q 10 2
West North East South
Pass Pass 2♣
Pass 2 Pass 2♠
Pass 3♠ Pass 4
Pass 4♠ Pass 5♣
Pass 5♠ Pass 6♠
All Pass

Eugenio Chiaradia was a six-time winner of the Bermuda Bowl as a member of the Italian team. This deal is from Italy’s first victory in the world championship in 1957. Chiaradia was South.

The auction was natural after the artificial 2♣ opener. Chiaradia obviously expected more from the North hand after the positive 2response.

West led the Q, taken by Chiaradia in hand. At trick two, he led the ♠8 (key play) to dummy’s queen, West starting an echo with the ♠4.

A club was led from dummy, Chiaradia playing the king when East ducked (West, apparently fearful of giving away the club position, played the 3). Now the second key play – the ♠9 to dummy’s jack – dropped the 10.

When a second club was played from dummy, East rose with the ace and could have given his partner a ruff, but West followed with the ♣4. East therefore shifted to the J.

That was the break Chiaradia needed. He won the A, played the ♠5 to dummy’s 7, and played a club to the 10 in his hand. On the run of Chiaradia’s black-suit winners, this was the end position:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ –
A 9
9
♣-
West
♠ –
J 10
K
♣ –
East
♠ –
7 6
10
♣ –
South
♠ K
8
Q
♣ –

On the play of the ♠K, West had no good discard and the slam was made. Note that the only way to defeat the contract was for East to return a club for West to ruff. If he played a heart, declarer would simply win in dummy and ruff a heart high, establishing the 9 for the discard of the Q, then follow with the club finesse.

The full deal:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ Q J 7
A 9 4 3
9 3 2
♣ 8 6 5
West
♠ 6 4 2
Q J 10
K 7 6 5 4
♣ 4 3
East
♠ 10 3
7 6 5 2
J 10 8
♣ A J 9 7
South
♠ A K 9 8 5
K 8
A Q
♣ K Q 10 2